I am importing two excel files into ArcMap that contain the coordinates for points in the decimal degree format.

The XY data displays successfully and the points are shown on the map, seemingly in the proper positions relative to each other. But when I try to calculate the distance using either the Near Table tool or the Measure tool, what should be a distance of over 1000 meters is calculated to be a fraction of one meter. What can be causing the problem?

I suspect it may be the coordinate system. Should I be selecting a specific coordinate system after the XY points are plotted? I am selecting the WGS 1984 by right clicking the point in the Table of Contents on the left, and editing the Data Source to show the Geographic Coordinate as WGS 1984.

What is the proper way to find the distance between the points in the attached excel files?

Any help or corrections would be appreciated!

Kanga Roo,

If you are going to measure distance then you need to set your maps data frame to some projection of your choice that uses meters, maybe UTM 1983 17N, seems how you are measuring on the island of Bimini. Doing that I get something more like 1650 Meters.

Also if trying to use the Near Table tool choose geodesic instead of planar.